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Author Topic: What's that symbol mean?  (Read 415 times)

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Offline iam_misshennessy

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What's that symbol mean?
« on: May 04, 2021, 07:05:59 PM »
So I stumbled across another person's thread identifying a pony and people were discussing how the cutie mark doesn't make any sense with the name. It was for a newer generation pony and the name was princess lily, but her cutie mark was of a gear with a couple hearts in the middle. At least that's what it looked like to everyone (me included).

So I thought it would be fun to list some ponies that automatically come to mind when I think of cutie marks not matching the names, and see what you guys think is the meaning of the symbols.

Does the symbol actually match the name and I'm just missing something? Or what do you think they were thinking at the time they decided on such a strange symbol for the name?

AND PLEASE SUBMIT ANY OTHERS YOU CAN THINK OF!!!

For me, these ponies come instantly to mind:
(PS: these are G1 ponies)

- Sprinkles
- Firefly
- Sundance
- Teeny weeny Whiskers
- Cotton Candy
- Butterscotch
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Offline applejackbunny

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Re: What\'s that symbol mean?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 07:38:43 PM »
Well, Sprinkles could just be that ducks are water-related, and Firefly's lightening bolts are fire-related. The others....no clue, I'm afraid!  :lol:

Post Merge: May 04, 2021, 07:39:48 PM

I suppose Minty's clover leaf symbols have always confused me...
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Offline Mewtwofan1

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 08:36:10 PM »
Moonstone always got me a bit. I know that the ins and outs of astronomy isn’t exactly a well known topic, but I don’t think having a ringed planet on moonstone is a good indication of her name. The moon is not a planet, and does not have rings. Based on the symbol, I would have expected Saturn or something.
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Offline Wardah

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 08:55:02 PM »
Tbh this kinda thing is why I've always disliked the term symbol and preferred either picture or design. Symbol to me means it has some kind of symbolic meaning and on a lot of them it just doesn't. Ironically in G4 they fit in more with the idea of it being symbolic but they don't call them symbols any more.
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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 10:07:28 PM »
Looking at it from a G1 perspective, there were times as a kid where I would go, hrm, interesting rump mark...but it never really bothered me if they didn't match the name of the pony.

I think that's only become significant with the advent of G4's 'cutie mark' narrative, but I am not really a fan of trying to bend that to fit G1 ponies, honestly.

The official Hasbro term for G1 symbols is rump mark or rump design. Symbol has never been used by Hasbro officially, so far as I know. It was designated by collectors. It was considered more neutral so it stuck.

Anything is better than cutie mark mind you.
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Offline Artemesia's Garden

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 10:51:09 PM »

I'm also a G1 collector so it's 'symbol' for me too. I do remember wondering about this lately, but if you think about the early G1 ponies, Blossom did have blossoms and Butterscotch had butterflies which is a pun I think? I'm terrible at puns so it took me ages to work that out. Peachy and Snuzzle had hearts and I suppose both thier names could be considered 'affectionate'. However, Blue Bell had stars, Minty had Shamrocks (a symbol of Ireland) and Cotton Candy had dapples. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Blue Belle and wouldn't change her for the world. Maybe they were thinking of Campanula rather than Hyacinthoides as they have 5 pointed petals. Later on they started creating the ponies as a more definite concept, but even so, some were tenuous, some made no sense at all and some were clearly admin errors. I love the idiosynchracies of G1.
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Offline Leave a Whisper

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 11:02:46 PM »
Looking at it from a G1 perspective, there were times as a kid where I would go, hrm, interesting rump mark...but it never really bothered me if they didn't match the name of the pony.

I think that's only become significant with the advent of G4's 'cutie mark' narrative, but I am not really a fan of trying to bend that to fit G1 ponies, honestly.

The official Hasbro term for G1 symbols is rump mark or rump design. Symbol has never been used by Hasbro officially, so far as I know. It was designated by collectors. It was considered more neutral so it stuck.

Anything is better than cutie mark mind you.

Tbph, Rump Mark/Design isn't any better. Plus, and I'm gonna be a nitpicker here, its inaccurate,  since it's on their hip.

It doesn't bother me, as much as it baffles me.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 11:06:06 PM by Leave a Whisper »
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Offline tailrustedtealeaf

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 11:09:31 PM »
I really like the original ponies with their out-of-the-blue butt marks. Butterscotch is my favorite of the bunch, butterflies somehow makes sense to me. It's probably a name similarity, as Artemesia said.

There's a lot of ponies who have names that don't match symbols! They may have media explanations, buut:

Pinkie Pie
Skywishes
Serendipity
Velvet Bow
Winterberry
Savannah Sage
Doseydotes
Toodleloo
Mistletoe
Snow'el
Silly Sunshine

There's a ton more, that's just who was from the first year or so of G3.
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Offline Flitter

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 11:11:14 PM »
Sprinkles > ducks tend to be associated with water and rain
Firefly > fireflies are also called lightning bugs
Sundance > not sure but maybe meant to look somewhat tribal in nature? or a representation of a sun symbol?
Teeny weeny Whiskers > Like Honey Pie, they went with the baby theme for the baby pony rather than based off the symbol, maybe they thought she looked like a cute baby kitten :kitty:
Cotton Candy & Butterscotch > based off the color of the pony rather than the symbol

There are a lot of ponies whose name is not neccesarily based off their symbol, but some other attribute, Pinkie Pie for example.
I'm sure there are a few I've seen that I was a bit baffled by what the symbol  was :what: I can't seem to recall any at the moment though

Offline MJNSEIFER

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2021, 12:16:40 AM »
To be honest, as someone who loves the whole cutie mark storyline in G4 (and yes, I realise that's only a storyline in G4) I've actually never minded if they matched or not either - even starting 99% from G4 symbols and cutie marks matching the pony's name was only something that can happen as far as I could see, not something that always did or should.  Speaking mainly for G4 officially, it was more about what the cutie mark meant rather than whether it matched the name of the pony - sometimes it can, but it doesn't have to (and the G4 narrative may have automatically normalized that for me personally.)

I am interested in this thread though, so don't think I'm dismissing it.  It would actually be interesting to see an idea of how many symbols/cutie marks do match the names and how many don't.

Side Note: I do have a possible explanation as to why they don't always match, but it's more from a writer's perspective that a toy designer's perspective, so it might not be the case (though it could be for G4 at least in places) - maybe they come up with the symbol/cutie mark (and in G4's case, the talent) but then find no names that could represent it/them fit with that pony, or vice versa they have a name for that pony, but no symbol/cutie mark (or talent) really goes with that name (or at the very least for this pony specifically, referring to both examples.)

My friend/writing partner and I were trying to come up with a name for one of our ponies in our project, and while we had her talent known, there was nothing we could think of as a name that fitted that talent (and by extension her cutie mark) - at least one suggestion was made, but it didn't fit for either of us.  In the end, he came up with a name which didn't relate to her talent at all, but it sounded beautiful and fitting in my opinion, and I can't imagine her being called anything else now.

I'll try and post a reply more directly on topic next.
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Offline Strawberry Swirl

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2021, 12:50:20 AM »
I think this is an interesting question but I may argue that a pony's symbol doesn't necessarily have to relate to their theme-ing, although that certainly helps aesthetically. Rather, I think that a symbol may have more to do with their personality.

Let me use OP's examples:

Firefly is adventurous, spunky, maybe a bit impulsive (at least in her movie and in my head.) Her lightning bolt symbols may denote a bold, boistrous personality, somebody who isn't afraid to push boundaries.

Sprinkles' duck symbol might mean she has an appreciation for the rain, or perhaps just water-related activities in general. Ducks of course are a water fowl, so there's one idea.

Butterscotch may be someone who flits from place to place, activity to activity, idea to idea on a whim. She doesn't stay in one place or sit still for too long, instead she would rather go through her day at her own place, which is very quickly. Butterflies = carefree lifestyle and spontaneous do-er.

Cotton Candy I would argue doesn't show her personality in her symbol, though, so that's one exception. Mayhaps she is closer genetically to a more realistic equine that's like a dappled horse. Instead I think her personality is in her name; she's written in many comics and stories to be a bit of a glutton, nibbling in anything she fancies. Whether it's Blossom's garden, or wildflowers, or Applejack's apples, she has an appetite that just can't be sated; and so she gets a name that's a sweet treat.


Anyway I'm just speculating but I think it's something to think about. Of course, the toy line historically was about appealing to many different themes and aesthetics, but I also think that giving a pony a particular symbol can encourage creativity in us, the fans. We may see a pony whose symbol has to do with fruit and imagine them to be a farmer, or maybe they run a smoothie bar. We see one who has a symbol of pawprints and we might imagine them to be a veterinarian or dog walker.
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Offline Carrehz

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2021, 03:37:46 PM »
idk if the original six collector ponies are great examples of this thing since they originally all had the same symbol (Cotton Candy's), didn't they? The switch to different symbols for each of them seems to have happened late into production, I always assumed they didn't think much about it past what would look good with their colours or whatever.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2021, 05:41:54 PM »
idk if the original six collector ponies are great examples of this thing since they originally all had the same symbol (Cotton Candy's), didn't they? The switch to different symbols for each of them seems to have happened late into production, I always assumed they didn't think much about it past what would look good with their colours or whatever.

Yeah. THat's true. Someone in the community (Ponyland?) has a couple of what are thought to be those originals, if I remember rightly. I forget which ones.

Bluebelle, Peachy, Minty and Cotton Candy for me were all named for their colours, not their symbols. Butterscotch may also be like this, although there is a pun on her name/symbol. Sprinkles would relate probably to Duck Soup.

With others like Bouquet, it got worked into their personality - backcard and/or comic, so then the symbols did make sense, even if they didn't make sense on the design table. (Probably like MJSNEIFER said with his OC, the name fit the pony and they worried about the other stuff later).

But that's the nice part about G1. It doesn't have to make sense :)

None of the Princess Pony symbols make sense with their names in either the US naming system or in the UK. I think most European translated names followed the UK gemstone model, albeit not always the same gemstones. The UK names are obviously gems chosen in relation to the colour of the pony. That's also sort of true with some of the US ones (Sparkle, don't get me started on that one).

Primrose always confused me because primrose is considered a type of yellow in colour palette here, but I learned that wasn't the case overseas. So it's also sometimes cultural association that ends up naming a pony. Either way, a butterfly doesn't designate a flower or a gemstone. Primrose and Ruby are both names that come from her pink colour, just in different contexts.

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Offline Leave a Whisper

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Re: What's that symbol mean?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2021, 07:34:29 PM »
June Blossom is a lovely girl, but she has a butterfly? Maybe she ought to switch with May Belle?
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